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MARCH 2018


Defend Your Commission to Scrappy Sellers



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MARCH 2018

Table of Contents



Millennials Lead All Homebuyers,

Even as Some Can't Escape Their



President's Message - Bed Bug

Lawsuits Highlight Continuing

Challenges for Property



Government Affairs Update


Defend Your Commission to

Scrappy Sellers

10-16 Regional Housing Market Report


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Updates via Text Messages


Golden State Finance Authority........................................................... 5

Millennials Lead All Homebuyers, Even as Some Can't Escape Their Parents

Adam DeSanctis 202-383-1178

WASHINGTON (March 14, 2018) -- Home purchases by millennials ticked up over the past year, but inventory constraints and higher housing costs kept their overall activity subdued and prevented some from leaving the more affordable confines of their Gen X and baby boomer parents' homes.

This is according to the National Association of Realtors? 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational differences1 of recent home buyers and sellers. The survey additionally found that millennial buyers prioritize living close to friends and family over a home's location and proximity to schools, and an overwhelming majority used a real estate agent to buy or sell a home.

Slightly more than a third of all home purchases were made by millennials over the past year (36 percent; 34 percent in 2017), which kept them as the most active generation of buyers for the fifth consecutive year. Gen X buyers ranked second (26 percent; 28 percent in 2017), followed by younger (18 percent) and older baby boomers (14 percent) and the Silent Generation, those born between 1925 and 1945 (6 percent; 8 percent in 2017).

According to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, this year's survey findings reveal both what it takes to be a successful millennial buyer in today's housing market, as well as why, even though sales to millennials reached an all-time survey high, stubbornly low inventory conditions pushed home prices out of reach for many. As a result, the overall share of millennial buyers remains at an underperforming level.

Revealing the greater purchasing power needed over the past year, the typical millennial buyer in the survey had a higher household income ($88,200) than a year ago ($82,000) and purchased the same-sized home (1,800-square-feet) at a more expensive price ($220,000; $205,000 in 2017). Millennials also had higher student debt balances than in last year's survey, and slightly more of them said saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in buying a home.

"Realtors? throughout the country have noticed both the notable upturn in buyer interest from young adults over the past year, as well as mounting frustration once they begin actively searching for a home to buy," said Yun. "Prices keep rising for the limited number of listings on the market they can afford, which is creating stark competition, speedy price growth and the need to save more in order to buy."


continued on page 3 MARCH 2018 3



Bed Bug Lawsuits Highlight Continuing Challenges for Property Management

In December, a jury awarded $3.5 million to 16 former and current residents of a Los Angeles-area apartment complex who were found to have lived with an infestation of bed bugs in their units. A few months earlier, another jury awarded a plaintiff $546,000 as a result of a bed bug complaint at a Rancho Cucamonga hotel.

California law provides that a landlord may not show, rent or lease to a prospective tenant any unit that the landlord knows has a current bed bug infestation. Additionally, the law now requires that the landlord provide a notice to all tenants containing certain information about bed bugs and the procedure for the tenant to report any infestations.

The C.A.R. Residential Lease, or Month to Month Rental Agreement was modified in

June 2017 to provide that the landlord has no knowledge of any bed bug infestation and that the tenant acknowledges receipt of the required Bed Bug Disclosure.

The bed bug issue is the latest in a growing series of challenges for property managers and owners of rental units. As California tilts toward becoming a state of primarily renters, the regulatory environment is making business more expensive, complicated and risky for landlords. From rent control to rising eviction requirements to potential requirements with screening, rentals are becoming a growing area of focus for the Realtor agenda.

Two years ago, C.A.R. successfully opposed a bill that would have added "criminal record" to the list of those protected from discrimination. Potential renters with a criminal background


MARCH 2018

continued from page 4

would have been added to the ranks of race, religion, gender, marital status, etc., making it more difficult for property owners to screen for a documented criminal record.

In the same session, C.A.R. made an unsuccessful attempt to clarify laws around "support" or "companion" animals. Unlike service animals, which have specific training to help an individual with certain tasks and are often medically prescribed for a disability or medical condition, support animals need no such training or certification.

A cottage industry of internet doctors has grown up around issuing"prescriptions"for support animals. These prescriptions help support animals fit under disability requirements and avoid lease restrictions that would otherwise prohibit or restrict pets.

Over the next few months, rental property will take a central role in the California housing debate. Two specific issues ? expansion of rent control and the Ellis Act ? are on the debate block in 2018. Rent control could reach voters via ballot initiative.

Specifically at risk is the Costa-Hawkins Act. That law says that new rental property cannot be subject to rent control ordinances in local jurisdictions that have rent control on the books. This was designed to help encourage the development of housing to address the supply/demand imbalance that has been the leading cause of rising rents. A statewide voter initiative to weaken Costa Hawkins and expand the reach of rent control is currently gathering signatures and may come to the ballot in November.

The Ellis Act is not facing an organized initiative process at the moment but remains a primary target of tenant organizations. The Ellis Act essentially provides a procedure for rental owners to go out of business. Under the law, tenants are to be provided no less than 90 days notice to cancel a lease due to this provision. If the tenant is at least 62 years old or disabled, the notice requirement is one year. Tenant organizations are seeking to repeal major provisions of the Ellis Act out of concern that a landlord going out of business would displace residents ? particularly in markets where affordable rentals are scarce.

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G S OLDEN TJAANTUAERY 2018 5 Finance Authority



Senator Removes Proposal to Tax Part-Time California Residents on Out-of-State Income

In March, State Senator Jeff Stone, whose district covers the Coachella Valley and extends to the Temecula Valley, amended a proposal that would have sought to tax the out-of-state income of part-time California residents who are not currently subject to state income tax. The bill, SB 1352, was designed to lower California income tax and make up the revenue losses through taxes on real estate owners from other states.

The proposal met an immediate outcry in Senator Stone's home district, which includes the resort and second-home cities of the Coachella Valley. CDAR fielded dozen of calls from members when the proposal reached the front page of The Desert Sun newspaper. Small business in the region registered their concerns shortly thereafter. Fortunately, that led Sen. Stone to reconsider the proposal and amend it to focus on tax proposals designed to benefit middle-class families, caregivers and others.

We would like to thank Senator Stone for seeking creative ways to lower the tax burden on Californians and for listening to his constituents when one approach appeared to go wayward. We would also like to thank our members for paying attention to the issue and taking the time to reach out to us and to the Senator.

C.A.R.-Sponsors Legislation to Withhold Transportation Funds in Cities that Fail to Build Housing

California lawmakers were reviewing a C.A.R.-backed proposal that would restrict local governments' access to state transportation funds when they fail to meet goals for affordable housing development in their local plans. The bill, AB 1759, would have made access to "gas tax" road funds contingent on whether cities had made sufficient progress toward their housing goals. It would have represented the toughest approach to date to push for development of housing across California.

The bill has been withdrawn from consideration due to a potential voter challenge to the gas tax itself. Should the tax survive a potential voter referendum later this year, the author of the bill has indicated he will reintroduce the measure in 2019.

Issue Spotlight: The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

In the last year, Congress has been extending the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in increments of a few months ? and sometimes a few weeks. The current extension, which passed on March 23rd, extends the program through the end of July. This has made NFIP a recurring issue.

The underlying issue is that the federally backed insurance program is the only flood insurance option for some 5 million homes across the country. These are areas that are considered at greater risk of flooding ? some of which have flooded repeatedly ? and where private insurers are not willing to write policies.

Without flood insurance, buyers typically cannot access mortgage financing in these areas. Without the NFIP, many of these 5 million homes may not be marketable. On the other hand, the federally backed program has been facing increasing numbers of claims and associated losses. The program is now $30 billion in debt to U.S. taxpayers and all parties agree that the current design is simply not sustainable.

The National Association of REALTORS? is seeking a long-term reauthorization of the program along with a series of reforms that work to reduce the program's losses without simply making insurance unaffordable to homeowners. These reforms include more accurate mapping (to determine property flooding risk), more accurate pricing and predisaster options to help homeowners better protect their property from flooding or move to a less flood-prone area.

For more information on the NFIP, please visit: .


MARCH 2018

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